On the O'Reilly OnLAMP.com site today, there's a new article with a few tips on making the tag clouds on your site successful from Jim Bumgardner, the author of Building Tag Clouds in Perl and PHP.
Tag clouds can be used effectively, and provide real value to a web site, or they can be tacked on as an afterthought, simply because they look cool, or to make the site appear similar to other, better web sites that offer them. Ultimately, you need to keep in mind their dual function, both as a graph of current activity, and as a navigation aid. Here are some design and implementation tips.
His list includes:
- Choose the right language
- Frequency sorting
- Avoid Random Mappings
- Try Different Maps
Each item has a brief explaination of what its about, and some include examples of what to do/what not to do.